A-Reece. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Watch Shane Eagle, Nasty C and A-Reece’s BET Cypher

Shane Eagle, Nasty C and A-Reece's BET cypher is proof that SA hip-hop is in the right hands.

Three of South Africa's most potent young lyricists, Shane Eagle, Nasty C and A-Reece got to showcase their bars in this year's BET Hip Hop Awards. Their cypher, in which they rapped over Lil Wayne's "Banned From TV" instrumental, is proof that SA hip-hop is in the right hands.


Listen to A-Reece's Surprise EP 'And I'm Only 21'

A-Reece, who raps last, steals the show with a verse whose brevity does it more good than bad. Nasty C's one suffered from overstaying its welcome, it's still a dope verse nonetheless. Reece in his verse talks about flourishing as an independent artist and throws jabs at SA hip-hop's flirtations with kwaito.

Watch the fully cypher below:

Nasty C, A Reece & Shane Eagle rep Ivyson | Hip Hop Awards 2018 Cypher

Read: South African Rapper Stogie T's BET Cypher is one for the Bookser Stogie T's BET Cypher is one for the Books

Interview
Image by Mark Peckmezian.

Filmmaker Akinola Davies Jr Explores the Sweet Spot Between Nollywood & Hollywood

Winner of the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, London-based Nigerian filmmaker Akinola Davies Jr speaks about his experimental film 'Lizard', what belonging looks like and the overlap between Hollywood and Nollywood.

In early February, the jury for the short film competition at the Sundance Film Festival announced the Nigerian film, Lizard, as the winner of the Grand Jury Prize, the highest honour for that category. Thirty-five-year-old Akinola Davies Jr, Lizard's director and co-writer (with his brother Wale, better known as Tec, one half of the rap duo Show Dem Camp) accepted the prize from the United Kingdom, a country he has called home since the age of 13.

Lizard follows the adventures of an eight-year-old girl, Juwon (Pamilerin Ayodeji) who is kicked out of Sunday school service and goes on a tour of the massive compound where she witnesses firsthand the dynamics at play in and around a Lagos Pentecostal megachurch. Davies Jr makes use of elements of magical realism to thrust audiences into the world of this innocent as she grapples with the images she comes in contact with. The film closes out in a climactic act of violence that recalls Davies Jr's memories of growing up in a country under censorship and military dictatorship.

With this Sundance triumph, Davies Jr became the first Nigerian filmmaker to achieve this distinction. However, he is no overnight success though. Born in London and raised in Lagos, the multi-disciplined artist attended school in the English countryside and has been grinding for a while now. The bulk of his creative work—music videos, fashion films, experimental films—have navigated aspects of belonging and existing in some kind of "middle".

In 2017, collaborating with photographer Ruth Ossai and stylist Ibrahim Kamara, Davies Jr paid homage to his Nigerian roots for French luxury brand Kenzo in a video film titled Unity is Strength. He has participated in the Berlinale Talents and opened his first solo show at Art Basel in Switzerland. He is also a prolific music video director, shooting visuals for British acts, Larry B and Mischa Mafia.

We caught up recently with Davies Jr via Zoom from his home in London.

Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

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